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  1. #1

    Default Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    I have noticed certain fragrances smell too "harsh" or abrasive to my nose (like sniffing rubbing alcohol). Some of these I used to enjoy, but they seem dominated now by synthetic notes, particularly "woody ambers". One of these is Amouge - Jubilation XXV, it is quite gorgeous, but I can't wear it, it annoys the hell out of me (a benefit to my wallet).

    I remember reading in LT's books that the more we smell these molecules the more our sensitivity to them increases. What fragrances has anyone experienced this with?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    Thankfully I personally haven't experienced this, but I have friends who have this type of reaction to oud.
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  3. #3
    DuNezDeBuzier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    JHL unfortunately, becasue I used to like it. To be honest though, it well could be the patchouli, cinnamon, rose combo that pushes it over the edge for me rather than its amber (labdanum/vanilla), woody (fir, sandalwood) facets. Right or wrong, it comes off aldehydic or varnish-ee and now just rubs me the wrong way.
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  4. #4
    vita odorifera
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    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    Quote Originally Posted by DuNezDeBuzier View Post
    JHL... Right or wrong, it comes off aldehydic or varnish-ee...
    Much as i love JHL, i have this experience as well. Fortunately, i does not last long.
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    I think pkiler had an interesting post on sensitivity, but cannot find it right now.

    As with all things, I think it varies a lot across materials. Some woody ambers disturb me as well. Perhaps you are very sensitive to the one used in Jub XXV. Duchaufour definitely uses boatloads of woody ambers to give background radiance to frags (eg Timbuktu etc)

    cacio

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    Dependent onethinline's Avatar
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    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    Certain white musks are very keening and screechy to me (the one used in vintage M7 for instance). There's also something shrill and chlorine-like in Chloe EdP that drives me crazy (in a bad way) when gals around me wear it.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I think pkiler had an interesting post on sensitivity, but cannot find it right now.

    As with all things, I think it varies a lot across materials. Some woody ambers disturb me as well. Perhaps you are very sensitive to the one used in Jub XXV. Duchaufour definitely uses boatloads of woody ambers to give background radiance to frags (eg Timbuktu etc)

    cacio
    It's funny you mention Timbuktu, because it's one of my favorites and it definitely does not screech at all to me. A lot of generic designer masculines do though.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    To me, a "woody amber" is this semi-hard kind of thing that has a sort of vibrational quality. If it's too strong it can be really irritating (as in Black XS, IIRC), but it doesn't provoke any nausea, unlike other things. I enjoy it in Green Jeans, so I think that the strength of it, along with the overall composition, are major factors. Older scents, like vintage Xeryus, seem like they have wood and amber notes, by contrast. There is no vibrational quality, and the notes seem to settle in the middle ground, so to speak, rather than pressing forward into the foreground.

    Now about one becoming more sensitive to certain molecules/notes, this certainly has happened to me, but it's also the case that after a while (perhaps a month or two), that slowly goes away, though you may then get sensitive to a different molecule or note. Moreover, sometimes I find that I have overall low or high sensitivity, so that I know that I should wear scents that are in accord with my current sensitivity level.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    I'm quite sick of "woody amber" and it's kind of an obsession for me. That being said, that strong synthetic smoky chemical in Jubilation XXV is Iso e Super, which is technically different than a specific "woody amber" note, which by definition smells like rubbing alcohol. The last time I was at the Le Labo counter, they actually had a bottle of the chemical that makes that "woody amber" rubbing alcohol smell. I could kick myself for not writing the name down...
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    The last time I was at the Le Labo counter, they actually had a bottle of the chemical that makes that "woody amber" rubbing alcohol smell. I could kick myself for not writing the name down...
    There are a number of them (norlimbanol, bois ambrene forte, cedramber, cedryl acetate, dihydro ambrate, isolongfolanone, kephalis, koavone, vertenex etc). Off the top of my head, I can think of which ones pop up in Le Labo the most, but they tend to all do similar things with slight nuances.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    I've never gotten smoky (or even significant woodiness) from Iso-E-super. It's a pretty subtle scent on its own. I wouldn't be surprised if Jubilation XXV uses some of the chemicals deadidol mentioned, along with some natural wood essences. The big blasting woody ambers that are more ubiquitous these days are far more crass and obvious than anything in the Amouage.

    Funny, I also smelled a few of these compounds at the Le Labo counter at Barney's this weekend. Ambrox was fascinating on its own, and norlimbanol was clearly recognizable as one of the "woody amber culprits" these days.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    Quote Originally Posted by runstile View Post
    I have noticed certain fragrances smell too "harsh" or abrasive to my nose (like sniffing rubbing alcohol). Some of these I used to enjoy, but they seem dominated now by synthetic notes, particularly "woody ambers". One of these is Amouge - Jubilation XXV, it is quite gorgeous, but I can't wear it, it annoys the hell out of me (a benefit to my wallet).

    I remember reading in LT's books that the more we smell these molecules the more our sensitivity to them increases. What fragrances has anyone experienced this with?
    Funny you should mention Jubilation XXV. Of the few hundred fragrances I have worn this one is in my top 5 of getting overtly negative reactions from my family. I think it's the combination of strong dried fruit with the Oud. I actually get a really pungent oud out of this one. Oh well, I prefer Memoir Man anyway.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    There are a number of them (norlimbanol, bois ambrene forte, cedramber, cedryl acetate, dihydro ambrate, isolongfolanone, kephalis, koavone, vertenex etc). Off the top of my head, I can think of which ones pop up in Le Labo the most, but they tend to all do similar things with slight nuances.
    My girlfriend is definitely sensitive to woody-amber notes. She describes some of them as smelling "as strong as bleach," although in an odor intensity sense, not odor quality. I accidentally got Norlimbanol on one of her favorite stuffed animals, and she could smell it for weeks. I second what you say about Cedramber and add Ambrocenide to the list. All three have the typical woody-amber character. Just today I was wearing a blend that contained 10% Cedramber and she said she could smell a woody-amber note. I know for a fact that Duchaufour used Cedramber in Avignon, and it might very well be in Jubilation, but I have not smelled that fragrance for a long time.
    Last edited by ToddHuyett; 28th September 2014 at 07:44 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Note Sensitivity: Woody Ambers

    What's that woody note in amouage fate and journey. I think I may have smelled it in LM Black Oud also. I've never smelled it in anything else. I love black oud, but fate and journey...... not so much.

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